How to image live mosquitoes under a foldscope: Asian Tiger Mosquito

Here is a quick tutorial for mounting a live mosquito inside a foldscope.

1. Catch a live mosquito in a ziplock bag.

2. Wiggle the bag to move the mosquito to one of the bottom corner positions. This is the corner edge we will insert in the foldscope.

3. Either cut the corner with trapped mosquito and tape the open edge to make a small triangle – or keep the closed zip lock bag as it is.

4. Insert the ziplock bag inside the foldscope; instead of a glass slide (see previous video tutorial on in-situ sample mounting).

5. Image and observe a living insect/mosquito/spiders or anything you would like.

6. To avoid crushing the mosquito completely; put some small debris in the ziplock bag so the two walls are not crushed.

See quick video

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Asian tiger mosquito (Aedes albopictus, easily identified with tiger stripes) feeding on me. Watch the belly fill up in seconds (this is real time). It took patience to resist and not just squat the same. Tutorial: to mount a live #mosquito inside a #foldscope – trap one in a corner of a ziplock bag and insert the corner into a foldscope (instead of a slide; see previous post on in-situ plant imaging for hints). I was curious how quickly will it digest the blood. Time lapse coming soon. Mosquitoes take significant water content in a blood meal, as they need to quickly pump water out via aquaporins (only keep heme from blood). This needs to happen fast since the Mosquito is vulnerable in this (belly full) state. Aedes albopictus is known vector for yellow fever virus, dengue fever, Chikungunya fever, filarial nematodes such as Dirofilaria immitis. They are also ferocious biters and will keep at it; so just don’t let them bite you. #mosquito #foldscope #liveimaging

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wild mosquitoes are known to carry many human diseases. Do not let them feed or bite you. Once you have caught a mosquito in a ziplock bag; you can experiment for a long time. Also, if you search in a house; you can often find sitting mosquitoes that have previously blood fed on someone else.

Keep exploring.



One Comment Add yours

  1. HonomitheFoldscoper says:

    Manu, this is fantastic, especially the tip about adding extra debris to to keep the bug from getting crushed. Thank you for sharing.
    I never knew that the mosquito wings looked so fairy-like.

    Also, I like this embedding of Instagram post.

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